Massachusetts Nurse Aide Registry

Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services
Nurse Aide Registry Program
99 Chauncy Street, 2nd Fl.
Boston, MA 0211
Phone: (617-753-8144)
Phone: (781) 979-4010
Phone: (800) 962-4337 (outside of MA)
Verification: 617-753-8192

CNA training and certification in the state of Massachusetts are regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services. The Nurse Aide Registry Program is responsible for reviewing training as well as competency evaluation programs. The registry also supervises the Massachusetts state competency evaluation and is in charge of maintaining the registry.


How to Become a CNA in Massachusetts

In order to work as a CNA in Massachusetts, a nurse aide needs to be listed in the Massachusetts CNA Registry. To be placed on the registry, a nurse aide must enroll and complete a state-approved training program and achieve minimum scores in the written and skills evaluations of the nurse aide competency evaluation. A state-approved nurse aide training program includes 75 hours of clinical and classroom instruction. In Massachusetts, a nurse aide is required to fill out an application for the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Program and pay a fee. Upon passing the two examinations of the competency evaluation, the applicant’s name will be placed on the registry.

Waiver of Training

For applicants that can verify they meet the requirements for certification, the state of MA makes available specific waiver provisions. Applicants must request a Nurse Aide Training Waiver via an application for examination available on the website of the American Red Cross.

Certification Renewal for MA Nurse Aides

Nurse aides in Massachusetts must renew their certifications every two years. The American Red Cross sends out renewal applications to nurse aides on the registry 2 months before the expiration date.  For information about the renewal process, applicants must contact the  Massachusetts Nurse Aide Testing Office. The renewal certification is dependent on the applicant having completed a minimum of 8 hours of paid CNA work during their registry period. If you have worked doing nursing-related services for at least one 8-hour period during their 2-year period on the registry. The two-year renewal period is calculated from the last known date of employment.

Reinstatement of a Lapsed Nurse Aide Certificate

According to the CNA registry in Massachusetts, nurse aides who have failed to work for a minimum of 8 paid hours within their last 24-month renewal period need to reinstate their certificate, which involves retake the competency exam. The same applies to nurse aides who have failed to renew their certificates after a significant lapse.

Application to test

CNA Certification by Reciprocity

Reciprocity is available for out of state CNAs. Eligibility requirements include having a current and in good standing certification in another state. Plus, out-of-state CNAs who wish to become certified in MA via reciprocity must have never been certified in MA before. Additional information can be found on the America Red Cross website.